This book is a picture guide to fossil plants and a few fossil marine organisms found in close association with the coal measures in southwestern Virginia. The fossils are sorted by groups and located as to coal seam horizon and geographic location. Short descriptions of each group of plant types are provided. This publication has been designed with the armature (rock hound) as well as a virtual guide for the more advanced collectors. There are 57 plates with more than 280 illustrations, most of which are in color.
A bachelor of science degree was earned while attending Morehead State University at Morehead, Kentucky. In December of 1979, I completed my master thesis in geology at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. Then in June 1980, I joined the US Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). I stayed with this agency as a geologist and coal-mine inspector for twenty-eight years, collecting plant fossils in the coal mines and outcrops (road cuts) in southwestern Virginia. For approximately twenty-six years, I taught introduction to geology courses at colleges in Cumberland, Kentucky, and Wise, Virginia. I started out in geology as a rock hound, collecting rocks, minerals, and fossils. By the end of high school, I decided to become a geologist and attended college. Actually, my parents insisted that I leave home because it was overtaken by my rock samples. During high school and college, I practiced lapidary work, making jewelry from minerals and rocks.